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London was Warned 15 MONTHS Ago!!!

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Associated Press
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Joined: Sat, 09 Jul 2005

London was Warned 15 MONTHS Ago!!!

Postby Associated Press » Sun, 10 Jul 2005 7:55 pm

What's the point of issuing such a warning if the govt doesn't pay attention to it? ... 0708223232


Islamic leader warned of London attack 15 months ago Fri Jul 8, 6:32 PM ET

LONDON (AFP) - An Islamic leader warned in a Portuguese newspaper interview 15 months ago that a London-based group, Al-Qaeda Europe, was on the verge of a major attack.


"Here in London there is a very well-organized group, which calls itself Al-Qaeda-Europe," Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, the Syrian head of the London-based group Al-Muhajiroun, told the Portuguese daily Publico in an interview published April 18 last year.

"I know they are on the verge of launching a big operation."

Bakri, 46, is suspected of having links with Abu Qatada, the alleged Al-Qaeda leader in Europe.

Speaking a month after the March 11, 2004 Madrid train bombings, Bakri said it was "inevitable" that London would be hit by a large attack "because they are being prepared by various groups."

British Home Secretary Charles Clarke had said the London attacks "came out of the blue" and insisted they did not represent a failure by intelligence services.

"As far as the general threat assessment was concerned, we didn't have prior knowledge of this attack," he said, after questions were raised about the alertness status of the security services.

"We obviously are looking very carefully at all our intelligence to see if anything was missed but in fact we don't believe anything was missed. It just came out of the blue," Clarke told Sky News television.

In the newspaper interview, Bakri said the Madrid bombings, in which 10 blasts killed 191 people in four trains, were carried out by a group of independent actors who backed Osama bin Laden's organization.

"There are many youths who dream of joining Al-Qaeda, but worse than that, there are many 'freelancers' who are willing to launch operations similar to those by Al-Qaeda," he said.

"The attack in Madrid was carried out by one of those groups."

Asked if Al-Qaeda had a connection to the Madrid attacks, Bakri told the newspaper: "Perhaps they did but the operation got out of their control."

He said the network had some 11,000 members around the world working towards the aim of establishing a grand pan-Islamic caliphate covering several countries with majority Muslim populations.

"With September 11, Al-Qaeda convinced Muslims that it has the power to put its plan in practice," he said.

Spanish authorities believe the Madrid train bombings were carried out by a group called the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM), suspected of Al-Qaeda links.

During the investigation into the London bomb attacks some reports said the British police were hunting for a radical Muslim cleric suspected of leading the GICM.

Police have refused to comment on the reports about the cleric, Mohammed al Garbuzi, a Moroccan who lived in Britain for 16 years and is said to have vanished from his home in north London last year.

Reports suggested he may have travelled to France.

Abu Qatada, the alleged Al-Qaeda leader in Europe, is a Palestinian whose real name is Omar Othman.

Sentenced in his absence to life in prison in Jordan for his alleged role in a series of attacks, Qatada is under house arrest after spending two and a half years in the Belmarsh high security prison in London.

The British government said last year that he was a radical preacher and the most important "inspiration" for terrorists in the country, including the men of Mohammed Atta, the leader of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In his prayers, notably at Finsbury Park mosque, he established links with Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber, and Zacharias Moussaoui, who was linked to the 9/11 plot and is being held in the United States awaiting trial.


Re: London was Warned 15 MONTHS Ago!!!

Postby EckaDimmock » Mon, 11 Jul 2005 9:23 am

Well, to be fair, it wasn't very specific, and the general level of alertness is already high. The British have had these problems for years with the IRA, so the security forces are probably among the best around, but even then there's probably no practical way to search everybody who steps on public transport or goes into public space.

Reality Bites

Postby Reality Bites » Mon, 11 Jul 2005 1:43 pm

"On the verge" usually doesn't mean 15 months. Just saying that something bad will happen in the future is not a warning. This was not usable at all.

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